Today, the US is set to launch a major test of an anti missile/missile defense system, which is designed to intercept an Intercontinental ballistic missile, such as one that would be fired by North Korea.
The test is the culmination of decades of work by multiple agencies and companies, and of course, lots of money.
So how much does this anti-missile system test cost? How much does the THAAD missile system program cost? Read on.
Today is actually the 18th test of an anti missile/missile defense system by the US. Out of the first 17, the system was successful about 50% of the time — not great, but better than nothing.
The actual anti missile/missile defense system system is actually a group of many different projects going back decades. Each of these programs had their own products, and each had a significant cost.
As early as the 1970s, the US has been developing and testing anti missile/missile defense systems. Back then, the military spent $10-20 billion on the system.
Then there were Patriot missles, which cost several million dollars per missile. You may remember that these missiles were used during the first Gulf War. Every year, the Patriot missile program costs around $12-15 billion.
Additionally, there is an entire group in the military, with a budget of $8 billion per year to oversee building these missile systems.
The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system was the first system designed to take on ICBMs like those from North Korea. That system was supposed to be ready by the early 2000s, but it missed its targets.
The system is now in operation, and is supplemented by other programs such as the THAAD and Patriot systems. The total cost of these systems is around $10 billion per year, with the 2018-2018 budget being around $9.4 billion.
While the exact cost per missile is classified, there are plenty of comprarable systems. For example, Israel has a system called David’s Sling, which costs $1-2 million per missile. Other systems are in the same ballpark.